Levels of Emotional Maturity


  1. Read each paragraph and write, highlight, or take note of each phrase or sentence that resonates with you.

  2. Add how many phrases you have in each paragraph to see which ages your emotional maturity is most prominent.


  1. Be honest with yourself. You cannot accurately assess if you are not completely honest.

  2. Be gentle with yourself. We all have areas to improve.

  3. Be open to learning about yourself.

  4. Understand that this is not meant to diagnose, label, or treat you.

Emotional Infant 0-4: Like a physical infant, I look for other people to take care of me more than I look to take care for them. I often have difficulty in describing and experiencing my feelings in healthy ways and rarely enter the emotional world of others. I am consistently driven by a need for instant gratification, often using others as objects to meet my needs, and am unaware of how my behavior is effecting/hurting them. People sometimes perceive me as inconsiderate, insensitive, and self-centered.

Emotional Children 5-11: Like a physical child, when life is going my way and I am receiving all the things I want and need, I am content and seem emotionally well-adjusted. However, as soon as disappointment, stress, tragedy, or anger enter the picture, I quickly unravel inside. I interpret disagreements as a personal offense and am easily hurt by others. When I don’t get my way, I often complain, throw an emotional tantrum, withdraw, manipulate, drag my feet, become sarcastic, or take revenge. I have difficulty calmly discussing with other what I want and expect from them in a mature loving way.

Emotional Adolescents 12-17: Like a physical adolescent, I know the right ways I should behave in order to “fit in” mature, adult society. I can feel threatened and alarmed inside when I am offered constructive criticism, quickly becoming defensive. I subconsciously keep records on the love I give out, so I can ask for something in return at a later time. When I am in conflict, I might admit some fault in the matter, but I will insist on demonstrating the guilt of the other party, proving why they are more to blame. Because of my commitment to self-survival, I have trouble really listening to another person’s pain, disappointments, or needs without becoming preoccupied with myself.

Emotional Adults 18+: I can respect and love others without having to change them or becoming critical and judgmental. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect in meeting my relational needs, whether it be my spouse, parents, friends, boss, or pastor. I love and appreciate people for who they are as whole individuals, the good and the bad, and not for what they can give me or how they behave. I take responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, goals, and actions. When under stress, I don’t fall into a victim mentality or a blame game. I can state my own beliefs and values to those who disagree with me-without become adversarial. I am able to accurately self-assess my limits, strengths, and weaknesses and freely discuss them with others. I am deeply in tune with my own emotions and feelings. I can move into the emotional worlds of others, meeting them at the place of their feelings, needs, and concerns. I am deeply convinced that I have nothing to prove.

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